Favorite

Panic in the House 

As at every legislative session these days, skittish male lawmakers have worked themselves into a state, professing to see bands of ruffians forcing abortions on helpless women. Even assurances from their female colleagues that there are no such gangs, that no serial abortionist is on the loose, that women are not weak and/or stupid, cannot calm the boys once the fever strikes. Only another shot of legislation will do the trick.

Rep. Sid Rosenbaum, R-Little Rock, is the leading hysteric of the moment. Rosenbaum is the sponsor of HB 2768, which would supplement the fruits of previous legislative panics. Arkansas law already imposes unnecessary and punitive “informed consent” procedures on women and their physicians, thus making the abortion question even more difficult than it would be anyway. Rosenbaum’s bill, approved by the House Friday, would add still another prohibition, this one against any woman having an abortion unless she’s been advised by a physician that “a spouse, boyfriend, parent, friend or other person can not force her to have an abortion.” A colleague asked if it mightn’t be desirable to enact a law prohibiting anyone from forcing a woman not to have an abortion. Rosenbaum replied by presenting his bill as an equal-rights measure:

“Nobody can force me to go have an operation … [This] simply states that no one can force a woman to have a medical procedure.”

His questioner was right, of course, though her question went unanswered. If a bill is needed to protect anyone from being forced to have a medical procedure, it should apply to everyone. Why not a law that no man can have prostate surgery until he’s been advised that no one can force him to have it, no wife, girlfriend, parent, friend, etc.? The real answer is that supporters of bills like HB 2768 believe that men are smart enough and strong enough to make decisions about their own bodies. And about women’s, too.

Closing meanness

A legislative session that once seemed about as under control as these things get is stumbling toward the end. While being crueler to women, legislators are maintaining their familiar cruelty to animals. An animal-cruelty bill (SB 777) that was approved by the Senate is caught in a House committee controlled by the Farm Bureau, and seems unlikely to escape, just like small animals caught by those who enjoy setting them afire or subjecting them to other forms of torture. It’s not just mean to let such people go unpunished, it’s foolish. Those who start by cutting up animals are likely to end by cutting up people.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Most Shared

Latest in Editorials

  • The end of an era

    We're sad to report that Doug Smith has decided to retire. Though he's been listed as an associate editor on our masthead for the last 22 years, he has in fact been the conscience of the Arkansas Times. He has written all but a handful of our unsigned editorials since we introduced an opinion page in 1992.
    • May 8, 2014
  • A stand for equality

    Last week, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel became the first elected statewide official to express support for same-sex marriage. His announcement came days before Circuit Judge Chris Piazza is expected to rule on a challenge to the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Soon after, a federal challenge of the law is expected to move forward. McDaniel has pledged to "zealously" defend the Arkansas Constitution but said he wanted the public to know where he stood.
    • May 8, 2014
  • Same old, same old

    Remarking as we were on the dreariness of this year's election campaigns, we failed to pay sufficient tribute to the NRA, one of the most unsavory and, in its predictability, dullest of the biennial participants in the passing political parade.
    • May 1, 2014
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

February

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28  

Most Viewed

  • Enough

    On March 24, 1998, I listened to an answering machine message from my sister that simply said, "Mom is OK. Turn on CNN." I ran to the television and immediately knew my mom was fine because it was her voice coming out of the speaker. There had been a school shooting in Arkansas. In my hometown.
  • Unqualified

    Amid the shock and horror accompanying yet another mass shooting of schoolchildren in Florida, an anonymous White House official exhibited the sheer moral squalor of Trumpism.
  • Meanwhile, back in Arkansas

    Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin got some glowing coverage in Sunday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for arranging an award from the national association of secretaries of state for the Little Rock Nine and their brave desegregation of Central High School 60 years ago.
  • Russian trump

    Read the Russian indictments. It is a civic duty. Likewise, Donald Trump's tweets on the matter.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Unqualified

    • Gee, runner, here it was I thought it was the conservatives/Republicans who failed to provide…

    • on February 22, 2018
  • Re: Enough

    • Very well said Autumn. I think what disturbs me is the indifference a lot of…

    • on February 22, 2018
  • Re: Unqualified

    • The Gene Lyons types made fun and ridiculed a most decent man that ran for…

    • on February 21, 2018
 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation